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【新年策划】新年新科技

作者: NYTALK管理者 点击:418 难度:高级
Beam yourself across the world
The growth in video communication has been exponential. Skype now boasts 300 million users, and a 2012 Ipsos/Reuters poll revealed one in five people worldwide now frequently “telecommuted” to work. But Star Trek fans will be happy to hear that incoming technology will add a further dimension to international conference calls. Known as holographic telepresence, it involves transmitting a three-dimensional moving image of you at each destination – allowing you to converse as if you were in the room. One system from Musion, based in Britain, uses Pepper’s Ghost, an effect popular with illusionists, to beam moving images onto sloped glass. Musion has already digitally resurrected rapper Tupac Shakur at a music festival. But full 3D holographic communication is not far behind – in the shape of the Polish company Leia. Named after the Star Wars princess, its Leia Display XL uses laser projectors to beam images onto a cloud of water vapour. The result is a walk-in holographic room, in which 3D objects can be viewed and manipulated from every angle. An IBM survey of 3,000 researchers recently named holographic video calls as one technology they expected to see in place in the next year or so.
全息立体通讯
近年来,随着科技的进步,视频通讯产业取得重大发展。如今,视频电话Skype的用户已超过3亿,约1/5的上班族经常参加视讯会议。在2014年,受益于全息立体通讯技术的运用,举行视频会议时,人与人的交流将变得更加生动和顺畅。
目前,总部位于英国的Musion公司正在开发一个新系统,该系统可以在两个甚至多个会议地点之间传输与会者的运动影像,从而制造“面对面”交谈的效果。
而3D全息立体通讯也即将成为现实。加拿大一家科技公司研发了一个3D全息投影装置,这个装置以科幻电影《星球大战》中莱娅公主(Leia)的名字命名,实现真人全比例多角度显示3D视频图像,远程对话方甚至能看见说话者的后背。

Formula E racing
If you think the atmosphere at a Formula 1 grand prix is electric, you’re going to love the new motor sport starting next year. Formula E will see drivers racing around city-centre circuits - including London - in battery-powered electric cars. The new championship, which is backed by the FIA, motor racing’s governing body, promises cars as sexy as those driven by Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel et al, but with lithium-ion batteries and electric motors instead of fuel tanks and pistons. And, while their top speed is expected to be 155mph, slower than Formula 1, the event will compensate with exciting street circuits and brightly-lit night events. The pit stops will be different too: with the batteries running out of juice after 20 minutes, drivers won’t just change their tires, they’ll jump into new cars. The season is scheduled to start on September 13 in Beijing, with further races in the streets of Rio de Janeiro, Berlin and Los Angeles amongst others, before the final event in the centre of London on June 27 2015.
电动方程式赛车
Formula E电动方程式赛车预计将于2014年9月正式拉开序幕,持续至2015年6月。首届大赛将举办10站比赛,举办地遍布全球,包括北京、里约热内卢、柏林、洛杉矶、伦敦等。
比赛中,所有赛车均为纯电动车,使用锂离子电池和电动机,最高速度可达250公里/每小时。为了弥补速度不如F1赛车的缺憾,主办方特意把比赛地点设在城市中心,同时加入“夜赛”环节,以期给观众带来不同的观感。
此外,由于赛车的电量仅能持续20分钟,所以赛车手比赛时将不需要更换车胎,而是直接换车。
 
Faster online deliveries
In this age of instant gratification, waiting days for internet purchases to arrive suddenly seems very 2013. So, from next year, behemoths like Amazon and eBay will be stepping up their efforts to deliver goods on the same day they’re bought, even if that day’s a Sunday. Eventually, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos envisions unmanned drones bringing products to our doors within half-an-hour. In the meantime, he’s increasing his number of warehouses and overhauling his partnerships with couriers to get us what we want as quickly as possible. It’s another nail in the coffin of traditional bricks-and-mortar stores.
网购商品“立等”可取
在这个要求“及时满足”的时代,网购商品耗时数日才能抵达,令消费者心生抱怨。不过,上述状况即将改变。
自2014年起,全球电商巨头亚马逊(Amazon)和易趣(eBay)将下大力气提升送货速度,力图实现“当天下单、当天到货”。其中,亚马逊公司正在测试无人机送货,据称可以在不到半小时内就将货物送到客户手中。同时,该公司还在增加货仓数量,并加强与快递公司的合作,以求把货物尽快送到客户手中。
 
Virgin Galactic launches. Yes, really
Despite delays in testing – the first flights were promised by 2011 – Sir Richard Branson’s dream of making money in space is nearing reality. A test flight was completed in April, and it was announced in November that television network NBC has agreed to televise the first ever public flight from New Mexico “sometime in 2014”.
开启“太空之旅”
不出意外的话,英国维京银河公司将于2014年开始向民众提供太空畅游的观光项目。在太空之旅中,经过精密检测的太空船将带旅客冲出大气层,在距地表100千米的轨道上运行,期间旅客能俯瞰地球。
目前,维京银河公司已启动第一批太空之旅的预定工作,并从首批报名者中收益了数千万美元。维京银河公司称,首次太空之旅定于“2014年某个时候”从美国新墨西哥州启航,届时将由电视台全程直播。
 
The Swiss Army knife of credit cards
According to a recent survey, one in five consumers in America no longer carry any cash on them. From next year, they won’t need their ever-growing collection of plastic payment cards either. San Francisco company Coin has invented a device the same size as a credit card that holds the information of up to eight debit, credit, loyalty or gift cards. Customers press a button to choose which one they want to use and then simply swipe their Coin in the usual way. And if you lose your Coin? The card is synched to your smartphone and when the two are separated your phone receives a notification. In other words: you can’t leave home (or a shop, or a restaurant) without it.
“瑞士军刀”式信用卡
一份最新民调结果显示,在美国,约有1/5的民众出门不带现金。从明年开始,他们出门就连卡包都不用带了。
位于美国洛杉矶的“硬币”(Coin)公司发明了一款形似瑞士军刀的信用卡装置,该装置可内置8张信用卡、贷记卡、礼品卡或者会员卡的信息。使用时,消费者只需要掏出这把“瑞士军刀”,按下按钮选定待刷卡片,然后刷一下,就能交易成功。并且,这把“军刀”还能与智能手机连接,当两者距离过超过某个数值,手机就会收到提醒。

Shanghai’s underground hotel
In an abandoned quarry at the base of China’s Tianmenshan Mountain, 30 miles outside Shanghai, an extraordinary hotel is taking shape. At a cost of £345 million, the InterContinental Hotels Group is building a five-star resort that will boast two floors above the top of the 330ft rock face and another 17 storeys below ground level, two of which will be underwater. If construction goes to plan, the first guests at “the world’s lowest hotel” will check-in by the end of 2014.
全球最大地下酒店
上海松江佘山地区天马山旁,有一个采石留下的深坑。2014年,全球最大的地下酒店将在这里建造完成,迎来首批客人。
这个废弃的采石坑深约100米,长约240米,宽约160米,底部有20米左右的积水。根据规划,酒店将从坑底伸出地面,水面以上计划有300间客房,水面以下则为水底餐厅与咖啡馆。同时,酒店旁边还设有落差100米左右的布

Trip to Mars
As it stands, if you felt the urge to make the 54-million-mile trip to Mars, it would take you nine months. That’s around 39 weeks dealing with cosmic radiation, asteroids and wastage to your bones and muscles.
But VASIMR could change all that. Set to be tested aboard the International Space Station in late 2014 to early 2015, the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket is an experimental engine that, if it works, could get us there in three months.
To simplify enormously: existing chemical rockets only produce short bursts of speed as they burn a vast amount of fuel in one go, but at a relatively low velocity. By contrast, VASIMR takes a tiny bit of propellant (plasma), heats it to very high temperatures (two million degrees centrigrade) using radio waves, then uses magnetic fields to push it out at extremely high velocities. The result is a steady, continuous acceleration to higher speeds, using far less fuel.
In theory. One current problem is the power required to heat the plasma. For short flights near Earth, solar panels suffice. But a mission to Mars would require a far bigger continuous power supply – and that means a wider initiative to build a nuclear reactor small and safe enough for the trip.
But manufacturers Ad Astra – lead by former NASA astronaut Dr Franklin Chang Díaz – say VASIMR is a game-changer. Better still, for the sci-fi fans among us, VASIMR even burns with the same bluish tint and luminescence of fictional spaceships engines. Which is what scientists like to call “the clincher”.
3个月到火星不再是梦
在现有条件下,宇航员动身前往5400万英里外的火星,将耗费39周的时间。并且,在此期间,宇航员还要应对宇宙辐射、太阳斑侵袭,以及肌肉和骨骼的损耗。
不过,“可变比冲磁等离子体火箭发动机”(VASIMR)的出现将改变这一切。由美国艾德-阿斯特拉公司(Ad Astra)研发的这款高科技火箭发动机使用电力等离子体发动机推进,速度远远快于传统的核动力和化学动力火箭。
按照计划,艾德-阿斯特拉公司将在2014年底至2015年初试射VASIMR火箭发动机。如果实验成功,人类前往火星的时间就能由现在的39周缩短至3个月以内。

More transparent shopping
For some people, it’s about whether the factory workers are being treated ethically. For others, it’s about the impact upon the environment. For a great deal more of us, it’s about checking whether you’re about to feed your child a Turkey Twizzler made out of freshly-slaughtered Romanian horse. Either way: in the age of globalisation, knowing where your product has been made or grown, and its route to market, has taken on a new importance.
Embracing this shift in consumer priorities is Provenance - a new type of search engine attempting to chronicle just that. From chocolate bars to jackets to shoes to chef’s knives, Provenance tells you where a product is made, who the manufacturer is and what the product is made from.
But while Provenance includes vivid personal stories from farmers, workers, craftspeople and so on, there’s no attempt to catch out corporations with their hands in the sweatshop, Roger Cook style. Instead, the site works in collaboration with everyone from small-batch producers to large multinationals in the hope that, by simply taking the mystery out of supply chains and worldwide commerce, the site will help shoppers make better choices. As well as gently forcing companies to improve their environmental and social impact.
购物消费实现“可追溯”
在全球化时代,了解商品的产地以及商品进入市场的路径,成为消费者的新需求。
为了迎合这一转变,一个全新的搜索引擎出现了。包括巧克力棒、鞋子甚至菜刀在内,用户只要在搜索栏里输入商品名称,Provenance搜索引擎就会自动搜索出商品的产地、原料、以及制造者名称。

Fecal bacteriotherapy
Not every emerging scientific advance is complex, or sophisticated. Or, for that matter, something you'd discuss at the dinner table. Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) – the process of transferring fecal bacteria from a healthy individual into a sick recipient - has been around since 1957. But it’s only in the last decade that FMT has been seen as simple, safe, low cost, low risk, accessible, and, apparently, a permanent treatment alternative to increasingly high-strength antibiotics.
To explain: when a patient is given broad-spectrum antibiotics, the effect is to carpet-bomb all the healthy bacteria that live in our guts, leaving the patient open to infection by other bacteria - such as the potentially fatal Clostridium difficile. Since 2000, hypervirulent strains of C. difficile have developed, and now kill over 2,000 people a year in the UK alone. But FMT is the shock troops: a quick, easy way of restoring healthy bacteria into your guts to fight the infection. And fight they do: an incredible 89% of patients are instantly, and permanently, cured.
And new research suggests FMT might also offer cures for not just IBS, colitis, constipation and colonic ulcers – but also a growing number of neurological and auto-immune conditions such as Parkinson's. In October it was announced FMT was now available in pill form, making it slightly more appealing.
“粪便移植”治愈顽疾
所谓“粪便移植”(Fecal microbiota transplantation),是指将健康人粪便中的功能菌群,移植到患者胃肠道内,重建具有正常功能的肠道菌群,实现肠道及肠道外疾病的治疗。
尽管早在1957年左右,这个另类的疗法就被科学家运用于治疗某些病症,但直到最近十年,“粪便移植”才被视为一种简单、安全、低成本、低风险、易操作的永久性治疗手段。最新研究显示,“粪便移植”可能不仅能治愈肠易激综合症、结肠炎、便秘和结肠溃疡,甚至还为治疗帕金森症等神经性和自体免疫性疾病提供新希望。